Have you explored debt consolidation before? Maybe you just don’t know enough about it to feel comfortable moving forward. It’s a big step, as it must be seen as your solution to your mounting debt. Therefore, it’s important to keep reading to learn more about your debt consolidation options so that you can make the decision.
One sign that a debt consolidation company is reputable is whether or not they are a member of an organization, like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Even if the company verbally confirms to you that they are a member, make sure you still research it to make sure what they are saying is true. A member of an organization like the NFCC has to follow certain rules, like only employing certified credit counselors.
Use bankruptcy as a negotiation tool. Creditors would rather get some of their money back than get nothing at all. Let them know that if your debt cannot be reduced, you will probably be forced to file bankruptcy. This can spur the creditor to resort to a more satisfactory compromise that reduces the debt owed.
If you own your home, consider taking out a home equity loan. Since the interest on these loans is tax-deductible, you can save money in multiple ways. Provided you are able to get a good interest rate, this is a smart way to consolidate your debt into one monthly payment.
Find out whether a debt consolidation company will take your unique situation into account. A one size fits all approach generally does not work when it comes to these kinds of financial matters. You want to work with someone that will take the time to determine what is going on with you and figure out how best to address the situation.
Talk to friends, family and coworkers. You aren’t the only one with money problems, and chances are that someone you know already has some experience with debt consolidation. This is a great way for you to find a company you can trust, so that you can avoid using a less than reputable company.
If you are considering seeking a debt consolidation loan from a financial institution such as a bank or credit union, spend sufficient time shopping around and assessing what is available. You may be surprised by the wide ranges of interest rates and terms you are offered. By doing your research, you will be sure to get the very best deal.
You may decide not to consolidate all of your debts. For example, it makes little sense to consolidate loans with zero percent interest onto higher interest loans. Look at each of your loans and then make a decision.
Make sure to discuss your plans for debt consolidation with your spouse before entering into a program. You need to be on the same financial page as your partner in order to truly reduce your debt and improve your financial situation. If you don’t take the time to discuss things, your spouse could end up continuing to rack up debt, hurting your financial situation in the long run.
After you’ve consolidated your debt, consider what credit cards you don’t need. Remember what got you here in the first place. Do you need all of that credit? Do you feel the itch to use it? Don’t fall back into bad habits. Get rid of any cards that are unnecessary.
Rather than a consolidation loan, try paying credit card balances with the “snowball” approach. Find the card you have with the highest overall interest and get it paid off first. Go from there, and tackle another debt next. It’s one of the best choices you can make.
Some creditors will negotiate with consumers. Ask if your credit card provider will move you to a fixed interest if you quit using the card. Without trying, you’ll never know what could be offered.
Learn about the privacy and security practices at any debt consolidation company you consider. It’s important that you know that there is a policy in place, even if it’s not something you think about all the time. You are going to be giving them very personal information, so make sure that the information is protected.
Begin a financial journal. In this journal write down every penny you spend for one month. Many times you will see ways to save money to help pay off your loans. For example, many people eat a restaurant every day for lunch. Simply packing your lunch a couple of days a week will help you be able to pay extra toward your debt.
If you have multiple credit cards, there is an action you can take before taking on a consolidation loan. Figure out which has the least APR and transfer your balances onto the card. This can save you a ton in interest and give you the ability to pay it off faster.
Debt consolidation can assist you in being able to retain your property if you are in the midst of a Chapter 12 bankruptcy. If you’re able to pay your debts off in three to five years, you’ll be able to keep your personal and real property. It is possible that you may also qualify to have the interest forgiven from your debt.
You now know more about debt consolidation, and you can work towards finding the right solution for your needs. You need a solid plan, and you need a company that is going to fight on your side. While the decision isn’t easy, it should now be something you are equipped to do.